Japan Government To Shake Up Gaming Industry!

Video Game Law Blog

July 25, 2006

In a report issued last week, entitled the "Game Industry Strategic Framework", Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ('METI"?) has issued three recommendations that could seriously impact the gaming industry.

This report, only part of which has been made available to news agencies, was issued last week as part of the Game Industry Strategic Research Conference.

METI's first recommendation is that a qualification system be created for game developers. In Japan, government-approved qualifications are omnipresent, where ministries administer a wide variety of exams, covering everything from athletic instruction to the handling of dangerous materials. Obtaining such qualifications is often mandatory for many government and private company positions. METI's recommendation is that this practice should be extended to the gaming industry.

METI's second recommendation is that Japan's primary gaming showcase, the Tokyo Game Show, be linked up with other international conferences related to entertainment. Theoretically, this could mean the Tokyo Game Show, Tokyo International Film Festival, and Tokyo Anime Fair would be merged together into a single massive event. The report's recommendation to "rethink the timing" of related events implies at the very least that future conventions may be scheduled to take place simultaneously or consecutively.

METI's third recommendation addresses the social impact of games. While Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization took a step in this direction earlier this year by redefining its rating system, METI's recommendation goes further, calling for the industry to develop a comprehensive communication strategy, incorporating awareness-raising activities related to the rating system and survey-based research. The idea, says METI, is to ensure that gaming is accepted by Japanese society.

METI has announced that the report will eventually be published in its entirety on METI's Web site , but has yet to set a date for its release.

Coverage at http://shorl.com/jestefystifehe